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Tips to Stay Amicable Throughout Your Divorce

June 6, 2017

Divorce is never easy.

It ranks as one of life’s most stressful events, so it’s natural that strong feelings and intense emotions will be involved.  Divorce is not something that goes away once the paperwork is signed and even if the couple who are getting divorced don’t have any children, a break-up always affects other family relationships.

For some people, an amicable divorce may seem impossible.  However difficult it may be, and however traumatic the relationship break-up has been thus far, it is ultimately easier and far less costly for everyone to work hard to try and keep things civil.

Here are some points to bear in mind to help you work towards an amicable solution:

  • Keeping your own emotions in check will help you make more practical, more informed and more realistic decisions. Understanding your own feelings and working through them is imperative if you are seeking an amicable resolution.
  • You need to understand that there were two of you in the relationship and it’s important to respect and acknowledge each other’s feelings, as hard as this may be.
  • Keep the lines of communication open and be as honest and positive as you can.
  • An amicable divorce is only possible if both parties take responsibility for their part in the relationship breakdown.
  • Seek professional help early on. Not all divorces have to end up in the courts and it’s often possible to negotiate a fair outcome through alternative pathways such as mediation or alternate dispute resolution.  In many instances, an experienced family lawyer will be able to facilitate an amicable settlement which can be handled out of court.
  • If children are involved, it can become more complicated. Remember, however, that it is how parents behave in a separation that causes children distress.   Even after you have parted ways, you are still a team and your children have two parents.  They’re the innocent parties.  Explain the situation to your children in age-appropriate language and reassure them that they aren’t in any way to blame for the breakup of the marriage or relationship.  Always remember that you are the adult and behave accordingly, and don’t burden them with your adult issues.   As tough as the situation may be, criticizing or bad-mouthing your ex-partner in front of the children is damaging and counter-productive and not in your children’s best interests. It’s best to walk away from any confrontational or potentially negative situation until you’re able to deal with it in a productive way.
  • Try and resolve financial issues as swiftly and calmly as possible. The Family Law system is designed around the premise to provide a just and equitable or ‘fair’ outcome for each of the parties, and this should be kept in mind when negotiating.
  • And lastly, be nice. It takes courage and humility to be nice during the process, but if you’re committed to an amicable solution and to building a positive relationship with your ex-spouse, then remaining civil and respectful will help you set a strong foundation for the future.

Ultimately, the purpose of a divorce and settlement is to end a marriage but it can also mean the beginning of a new life.  An amicable divorce can be hard work and may seem impossible at times, but an experienced family law practitioner can help couples when separating achieve a non-adversarial conclusion to what may have even been a complicated and conflict-filled relationship.

Paterson & Dowding are one of the most experienced family law firms in Perth with a reputation for delivering timely and practical advice in a range of situations including divorce, property matters, children matters, family dispute resolution, mediation, negotiation and court representation.  If you’re separating from your partner and are looking for approachable, professional help from an experienced Divorce or Family Lawyer, then please talk to us at either our Joondalup or Perth CBD office on 08 9226 3300 or visit our website, www.patersondowding.com.au to find out more about our expertise and range of services.

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